Working Toward Being a Screenwriter

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Weird West Story Bundle

News! My novella Not Enough Midnights is part of the Weird West Story Bundle. There are several great weird westerns by some amazing authors to be bought and read, so get out there and get your bundle!

Buy your copy of the story bundle here!

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MarsCon 2023

I will be at Marscon in Minneapolis this weekend, March 10th through 12th. I will be selling books in Artist Alley with Queen of Sword Press and on various programming. This will be the convention I’ll work the hardest at this year, so it’s the perfect time to come see me in the wild and get your SFFH needs met with books, games, music, costumes,and all that fun stuff. Here is my programming schedule to make it easier to find me.

What’s Woke Got to Do With It?
Ripley in Alien. Frank N Furter in RHPS. Blade in Blade. Mitch Downe in ParaNorman. Representative characters have been present in genre works for numerous decades, but over the past few years, some segments of fandom have claimed that our films and tv series have become “woke.” Even shows like Star Trek and Twilight Zone, which began as thinly veiled allegories for social justice issues have been branded with the dreaded W-word. Our panel examines what woke really means, and what-if any impact the concept has on both the content and fan communities.
T. Aaron Cisco, mod.; Michael Merriam, Jim Soo

Michael Merriam Reading and Book Signing.

SF Writing Groups: The 2023 Scene
Since 1986, the Minnesota Imaginative Fiction writers’ Alliance has held an annual meeting—recently at MarsCon–at which solo science fiction/fantasy who are looking for a writing group get a chance to connect with SF writing groups that are looking for new writers.
Eric M. Heideman, mod.; Michael Merriam, G. David Nordley

Put Your Story Out There
You have a book, or a short story, or you’re working on one. What’s the best way to share it? There’s Kindle, Kobo, Substack, anthologies, magazines, fanfic sites, what’s the best home for your story? Can you actually make some money at this?
Karl K. Gallagher, Michael Merriam

A Writers’ Conversation
Informal conversation amongst authors.
P.C. Hodgell, Ruth Berman, Michael Merriam, T. Aaron Cisco

You Always Remember You First
What book or other work inspired you and started on your journey in SF/fantasy fandom? What stood out? What resonated with you? Come and share your firsts among friends.
Christine LaBounty, mod.; Karl Gallagher, Michael Merriam, Kathryn Sullivan

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DreamHaven Reading This Wednesday!

This Wednesday, March the 8th! Come on down to DreamHaven Books and Comics to hear me read from my laterst novel from Queen of Swords Press novel LAST CAR TO ANNWN STATION. I’ll also read a short piece tied to the same world, and then maybe some weird western. There will be a prize give away! Everyone is welcome! Possible trip to Parkway Pizza will happen afterwards.

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March Madness (Sort of)

March has turned into a busy month for me as an author. Here is where you can find me in March!

I will be appearing at DreamHaven Books and Comics on March 8th as part of The Speculations Reading Series. Possible trip to Parkway Pizza will happen afterwards.

I will be at Marscon in Minneapolis, on March 10th through 12th. I will be selling books in Artist Alley with Queen of Sword Press and on various TBA programming.

I will be at Paganicon in Plymouth, on March 17th through 19th. I will be signing books at a table near the dealers room at 9AM on Saturday the 18th.

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December Shows!

Now that we’ve made it past Thanksgiving, I’m going to give you a quick rundown on where Michael the Author will be in December.

December 3rd at 3pm at Eat My Words Bookstore, I’ll be reading / telling a new piece as part of the Word Salad Storytelling Show.

December 6th starting at 7pm I will be on KFAI’s Write On! Radio, talking about and reading a little from LAST CAR TO ANNWN STATION. You can listen locally over the air and everywhere else by streaming.

December 10 rounds out what has been a busy year. I’ll be handselling books at the Books and Beer Pop Up Event at AZ Gallery in St. Paul.

After that I think I’m done unless I manage to set something up over the Christmas Holidays while I’m traveling to Arkansas and Oklahoma.

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Twin Cities Con

Hey, y’all, I will be at Twin Cities Con in Minneapolis, on November 11th and 12. I will be selling books in the dealers room along with Queen of Swords Press. Queen of Swords will have my new title, LAST CAR TO ANNWN STATION, and I will have a couple of my indie and other small press books. Come out, say hello, and get some signed books from me and other Queen of Swords authors.

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Blindness Awareness Day / Blind Americans Equality Day 2022

Hi everyone.
Typically, for Blindness Awareness Day this blind author does an Ask Me Anything on his various social media platforms, but this year, I’ll be at the Twin Cities Book Festival, taking part in the Minnesota Authors Mashup, so I’ll be busy all day.

Instead of the AMA, let’s talk about today about how I, as a blind author, use blind characters in my fiction.
Surprisingly, over 3 published and 5 unpublished novels, 7 novellas, and over 100 pieces of shorter work, I’ve only written 4 blind characters. One is featured in a pair of as-yet-unpublished novels, so I think we won’t talk about them today.

In my novel Old Blood’s Fate, the character Emma loses her vision at the very end of the book. She has the ability to work a piece of powerful magic, but knows there will be a sacrifice. She walks toward her blindness, embraces it in order to save those she loves. We only get one chapter of her living with that blindness, but she is a character I plan to revisit at some point in the near future. Old Blood’s Fate is part of my mythical Twin Cities series and can be purchased here:

In the short story By Moonlight, we meet Selma, a woman who hunts the local rogue fey. Selma wields a small bit of magic to help her in her job, but she is slowly losing her vision. As Selma goes on her final mission, she finds herself pitted against a sadistic half-fey who is also her half-brother. Selma isn’t particularly superpowered. She’s no Daredevil and must finish her tough job while living within her blindness. By Moonlight isn’t available anywhere right now, but I’m hoping to put it in a future short story collection.

Finally, we come to William in a story called Out Among the Singing Void.

Out Among the Singing Void was the first time I wrote a blind character and grew from my desire to write a story featuring a blind protagonist. Because of my own battle with a degenerative eye disease, I wanted to describe the world — and my character William’s perception of it — without using any visual clues.

My hope was to challenge the reader to experience the story through their other senses. This proved more difficult than I had expected. Despite being legally blind, I still slipped into the easy technique of using visual descriptions. I found myself returning to the story to add smells, textures, tastes, and sounds while taking out visuals that would have broken the story’s point of view.

I also wanted to write a story combining elements of fantasy (William as the “Blind Billy/Pied Piper” archetype from folklore) and science fiction (his love Maria as the cybernetic enhanced starship pilot). Too often proponents of each genre argue that their favorite one is superior to the other. I wanted to write a story where those elements co-existed.

This blending of fantasy and science fiction proved fun to write. I enjoyed the world-building I needed to accomplish to make the story ring true. I really enjoyed writing William as he came to realize that he and Maria essentially do the same work.

Most of all, I wanted to write a story about two lonely, somewhat broken people who still harbor a fierce love for each other. I wanted to create a story about them finding their way back together despite the years and distance between them and their different perceptions of reality. It is still one of my personal favorites of all the pieces I’ve written.

You can read Out Among the Singing Void for free here:

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Appearing at Pagan Pride

This Saturday, September 10th at 10am at Minnehaha Falls near Sea Salt restaurant, I will have a booth and be selling books along with Queen of Swords Press at Twin Cities Pagan Pride. There will be dozens of interesting vendors there with everything from jewelry to pottery, to well – books. Come out and see us!

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Catching Up On Things

Had a really good Minnesota Fringe Festival and a lovely evening on Saturday at CONvergence telling stories on stage. We should have video up on the YouTube Channel in the next week or so.

I’m working on a new short story, a new novella, a new screenplay, a screenplay rewrite, and the starter outline of a new stage play.

I have a little bit of a break since I’ve opted to skip World Con this year, then a busy autumn, so I hope to see a bunch of you. Go check out my appearances here:

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